Persistification of Robotic Tasks

03/14/2019
by   Gennaro Notomista, et al.
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In this paper we propose a control framework that enables robots to execute tasks persistently, i. e., over time horizons much longer than robots' battery life, which is achieved by ensuring that the energy stored in the batteries of the robots is never depleted. This is framed as a set invariance constraint in an optimization problem whose objective is that of minimizing the distance between the robots' control inputs and nominal control inputs corresponding to the task that is to be executed. We refer to this process as the persistification of a robotic task. Forward invariance of subsets of the state space of the robots is turned into a control input constraint by using control barrier functions. The solution of the formulated optimization problem with energy constraints ensures that the resulting task is persistent. To illustrate the operation of the proposed framework, we consider two tasks whose persistent execution is particularly relevant: environment exploration and environment surveillance. We show the persistification of these two tasks both in simulation and on a team of wheeled mobile robots on the Robotarium.

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